Nicolai unveiled their new Hammerschmidt rival, the B-Boxx, at this weekend's in-house show at their factory in Lubbrechtsen, Germany.
They are keeping details of the planetary gear system, which has been developed in partnership with Bionicon, close to their chest.
But CEO Karlheinz Nicolai told us: "The current prototype of the B-Boxx works great! Super-smooth function, nice design and under-load shifting."
It looks set to be available in a range of colours, but not for at least another year.
"We have to invest huge tooling costs and we have to do a lot of long-term durability testing," said Nicolai. "Because of this, there will be no mass production before winter 2010/2011."
This weekend's show was the fourth time Nicolai had opened their doors to the public. Customers could go on factory tours, have sneak peaks at the latest bikes and technology, and take part in workshops showing them how to maintain and tweak their rides. There was a relaxed atmosphere, with a barbecue and plenty of beer.
Nicolai said that when you buy, or are even interested in buying a Nicolai bike, you become one of the family: "And, of course, we like to look after the family we have created." For more information, visit www.nicolai.net.
Karlheinz Nicolai shows customers around his company's factory in Lubbrechtsen